Edvard Munch’s Pikene på broen (Girls on a Bridge), a 1902 canvas, will among the major impressionist and modern works to be auctioned by Sotheby’s on November 14 in New York.
The auctioneer has not released an estimate for this work but it is safe to guess it would be some million dollars. An accompanying description says, “Girls on a Bridge, one of Munch's most widely popular and acclaimed motifs, was painted during one of the most turbulent periods of his life. The image of a cluster of young women, huddled in a secretive mass between two points of land, resonates with explosive tension. Like van Gogh and Gauguin before him and the Expressionists after him, Munch often uses color not for naturalistic description but to convey authenticity of feeling. Understanding the world as a place of agitation and stress, Munch makes that vision literal; the emotional states that concern Munch are often disruptive – anxiety, jealousy – but he also knows quieter moods, like melancholy and loneliness.”
It is possible that Munch had all of those things in mind as described above. But then it could also be that he had none of those in mind and just painted it without any particular intention. Either way it is a remarkable piece. There is another one in this series where we see girls standing and leaning on the bridge and looking at the river. That is not being auctioned, of course.
The painting has an extraordinary explosion of colors which all come together in a rather unexpected way. Looking at this work I had to do something of my own this morning. Hence the digital work below titled ‘Monks in a forest’.
‘Monks in a Forest’ by MC